The Shark Free Marina Initiative released statistics showing that recreational fishing of sharks in the U.S. has contributed to the devastating decline in shark populations worldwide. Up to 73 million sharks are killed world-wide each year in commercial fisheries, mostly for their fins. This is a staggering number that is compounded by the hundreds of thousands of sharks killed for sport in the U.S. annually. This recreational killing of sharks adds not only to the alarming death toll but also undermines efforts to gain better protections for sharks and sends an unspoken message that the only good shark is a dead one.
Even imperiled species such as porbeagle sharks, which have lost 90 percent of their population, are targeted in tournaments. After finally taking note of their overfishing, the NMFS now encourages fishermen to release mako sharks alive and unharmed. Yet, tournaments with names such as “Mako Madness” and “Mako Mania” continue to encourage anglers to kill these sharks for prizes.
SFMI marinas participate in a voluntary program where they agree to prohibit sharks from being landed at their facility. Working in tandem with businesses and fishermen, SFMI is working to increase the awareness of the need to protect our sharks and oceans.
To learn more about SFMI and watch the celebrity PSA, visit: sharkfreemarinas.com.